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If I had a nickel for every time somebody told me that they wanted to travel the world, I'd have been retired by the time I was ten.
Seriously, there is nothing more cliché that we say to our friends.
Yet, months and years pass, and only few of us ever end up on the road.
It's uncomfortable. It's scary. It's expensive. Call it what you want, but essentially, the "wants" of travel didn't triumph over the "don't wants."
So, how do we get the "wants" to win?
One family that IS doing it has the answer. START NOW.
After all, now is the opposite of later, right?
The Carpenter Family, creators of the travel blog "Carping The Diems," faced many of the usual stalls—good job, comfortable house, two young children (ages two and four), friends and family living nearby, and lots more of the usual rigamaroll.
They faced a unique challenge, however, in that their two children have a life-threatening disease. Glycogen Storage Disease (known as GSD), affects the lives of those affected with the inability to process sugar. This means that if not fed regularly, their children will have severe hypoglycemic episodes (including seizures, organ damage, and death).
Their condition was initially a paralyzing challenge to the family. Their kids need to have their blood checked several times a day (yep, poked with a needle and tested with a glucometer). They eat meticulously measured feeds of corn starch, and they have to do it all at exact times.
Still, the bug of wanderlust is an infectious one. And for the Carpenter family, they decided that they would find a way to make it happen. They learned to handle the day to day routine. They figured out how to sell their house, work online, and live in places that could still provide solid health care for their children. And finally, they left the U.S. for Panama.
If they can do it, you can too.
And if you need some added motivation, here are three reasons they share on their blog to get you to book that first ticket, talk to your boss about that sabbatical, or list the car you won't be needing for sale:
1. There will never be a perfect time.
There is never a perfect time to travel, heck there’s never a perfect time for anything, having a kid, going to school, taking a trip, buying a house, There is never a perfect time.
2. You will never know unless you do it.
If you leave and don’t like it…you can always come back, but you will never know what it is like to travel long term if you don’t do it. Most things can be undone. You don’t have to leave forever.
3. You are the captain of your own ship and the author of your own story.
You have the chance to write your story however you want instead of having others write it for you.
Now, if you have legitimate logistical road blocks that stand in your way from leaving, don't worry.
As author Rolf Potts says:
"Even if the practical reality of travel is still months or years away, vagabonding begins the moment you stop making excuses, start saving money, and begin to look at maps with the narcotic tingle of possibility. From here, the reality of vagabonding comes into sharper focus as you adjust your worldview and begin to embrace the exhilarating uncertainty that true travel promises.”
The "narcotic tingle" is tangible. In fact, it's something that anybody who's actually left on an extended travel will be able to describe for you. There will be a moment that everybody can share.
The moment when you know that the "wants" have finally triumphed over the "don't wants."
As Ryan Templeton, founder of outdoor adventure site Gear Lobo says,
"You have to go 'Yes Man' on your life. It will never be in the way you imagine, or in the sequence that you're planning, but when you start saying 'yes', good things happen." (Awesome movie, BTW!)
In summary, the only time you will ever do it is now. If you don't do it now, when you finally do it, it will still be "now." You are the captain of your own ship.... are you ready to set sail?